Students win national competition in global engineering

A team of six students from Nottingham Trent University won the national Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Challenge Finals held in Durham on Wednesday, 11 June with an appropriate technology design for a rural community in the developing world.

A team of six BSc Product Design students from Nottingham Trent University won the Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Challenge Finals with a technology design for a rural community in the developing world.

Hannah Rodger, Leanne Gorge, Deborah Bouvie, Frank Worcester, Josh Wall and Sam Gale, from the University's School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment, won the national competition with their design of a safe playground for children in Codo, Timor Leste.

Almost 3,000 students from 19 universities from across the UK and Ireland embarked on the EWB Challenge as part of their first and second year engineering degree. Seventeen teams qualified to the national finals held at Durham University.

The EWB Challenge is a program delivered by Engineers Without Borders UK (EWB-UK) in partnership with participating universities. It aims to equip new generations of engineers with the skills and knowledge required to address global challenges in their professional careers.

This year EWB-UK worked in partnership with EWB Australia and Plan Timor-Leste to provide students from both sides of the globe with design briefs based on challenges in Codo, a small community in the eastern district of Lautem, Timor-Leste. The briefs represent relevant and important engineering challenges in the modern day. Students are tasked with designing solutions to address the needs of a community requiring urgent assistance with access to basic services, such as drinkable water, sanitation, sustainable housing and reliable energy.

The finals event challenged students to present their projects to the judging panel of experts in academia, professional engineering and international development, among them Dr Unni Krishnan, the head of Disaster Response and Preparedness for Plan International and Jonny Gutteridge, chief executive at Engineers Without Borders UK.

The winning team excelled by putting the needs of the community at the centre of their design and tailoring to the unique solution appropriate to the requirements of people in Codo, Timor. The team not only proposed a safe space for children of Codo, created with locally available and appropriate materials, but also incorporated vital cultural education within their design.

Emily Mattiussi, EWB challenge manager at EWB-UK, said: "This year the finals event included prominent speakers who talked about applying the Engineers Without Borders background in their careers. We hope to use the EWB Challenge to inspire students to think about how they can incorporate what they learn about humanitarian and global engineering into their future careers."

Engineers Without Borders UK is an organisation that creates positive social change by empowering engineers to remove barriers to human development. They inspire, inform and support people to respond to global challenges. The organisation creates opportunities to harness appropriate technology and engineering skills to enhance people’s lives. EWB-UK unleashes passionate, talented and transformational leaders who want a world where everyone has access to the engineering they need for a life free from poverty.

Mr Gutteridge said: "We need the right technology and understanding to solve urgent global problems and we need more engineers on the task. That is why I am delighted to see growing interest from UK universities and internationally in implementing this programme. We hope to excite new generations of engineers about working in sustainable international development."

The EWB Challenge is made possible in the UK through generous support from the Anglo American Group Foundation.

  • Notes for editors

    Press enquiries please contact Chris Birkle, Press Officer, on telephone +44 (0)115 848 2310, or via email; or Dave Rogers, Head of Communications, on telephone +44 (0)115 848 8782, or via email.

    EWB Challenge started in Australia in 2007 and has been brought to the UK by EWB-UK in academic year 2011-12. Since then the programme reached almost 10,000 students in the UK and Ireland. For further information about the Challenge please visit EWB Challenge website.

    Engineers Without Borders UK is a registered charity in England & Wales (No. 1101849) and in Scotland (SC043537) and is company limited by guarantee (No. 4856607)

    The EWB Challenge is made possible in the UK through generous support from the Anglo American Group Foundation For further information and with questions please contact Kora Korzec, head of engagement at EWB-UK via email or telephone 02072229177.

Students win national competition in global engineering

Published on 23 June 2014
  • Category: Press office; School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment

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